Sasserine & Surrounding Environs.   Posted by Dungeon Master.Group: 0
Dungeon Master
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Wed 30 May 2012
at 02:24
Sasserine & Surrounding Environs



SASSERINE IN BRIEF
Sasserine is located at the westernmost edge of the Amedio Jungle, nestled in a sheltered harbor.  Most travelers come to Sasserine via ship, as overland routes are fraught with peril.  From the sea, Sasserine isn’t much to look at; two ragged cliffs of stone jut from the coastline, their faces home to seahawks and gulls but little else.  Then a vast rent in the cliff slides into view, its summit crowned by the shattered remnants of an immense stone bridge above, a visitor passes from open sea into a thriving harbor of commerce, whaling, and intrigue.  Certainly the smell of the city is breathtaking—a tremendous riot of exotic spices, smoke, humanity, and sewage that assaults the senses.  Perfumes and scented candles are popular commodities in Sasserine.
   Sasserine is split into seven districts, each with its own personality.  The districts are separated by inner walls, by networks of canals or rivers, or simply by age.  Friendly competition between the districts is common, especially during festivals, yet the citizens of Sasserine do not hesitate to come to each other’s aid.  Perched at the edge of civilization, Sasserine is (and has always been) often the target of assault from land and sea; the pirates of the Crimson Fleet, the navy of the Scarlet Brotherhood, the frog-like bullywugs of the surrounding marshland, and even gangs of ogres and giants from the nearby mountains keep the city on constant alert, yet to date the fiercely proud city has fallen to the enemy only once, and even then only through the act of the city’s most notorious traitor.

   Sasserine (Large City): Conventional; AL NG; Population 15,650; 40,000 gp
      limit; Assets 31,300,000 gp; Mixed (77% human, 6% half-elf, 5% halfling,
      4% gnome, 4% dwarf, 2% elf, 1% half-orc, 1% other).


HISTORY
Sasserine was founded by a group of pilgrims led by a priest of Wee Jas named Sasserine, who was inspired to found the town after receiving a vision. Not much is known about the early times of the city outside of Sasserine's death in a battle with a marauding black dragon named Zelkarune. However, after her death, the town gradually grew and expanded until it encompassed not merely the area inside the city walls, but a number of farming plantations lying on the outskirts. The success of the city made it a target for raids from pirates as well as attempts of subversion by the Scarlet Brotherhood, which the city first encountered about thirty years ago.
   After a time, a family named Teraknian, descended from Sasserine's lover, began to rule predominantly over the city as lord mayors, taking advice from the clergy of Wee Jas and Kord. About 200 years ago, Orren Teraknian, the last of the lord mayors, began a reign of terror, and launched a persecution of the church of Wee Jas in the city. Orren was deposed soon after the city was conquered by the Sea Princes. The Princes kept the existence of Sasserine a secret from the rest of Auðrine to prevent the city from being taken from them. The subjugation would last for a century, until the Sea Princes were forced to let go of Sasserine due to internal turmoil in their own lands as a result of the Great Wars. The city is still recovering from its century-long domination and isolation.

SASSERINE’S GOVERNING BODY
Sasserine is governed by a council of seven noble families known collectively as the Dawn Council.  Decisions are put to a vote amongst the city’s citizens, and their appointed representatives among the nobility take the results of these votes to guide their leadership in the Dawn Council.
   Money once again flows into the city’s coffers as the trade routes are reestablished, bolstered by the trove of absconded funds recently liberated from the Sea Princes.  Dress style in Sasserine ranges from rags to riches, but the one thing that applies across all classes is the fact that in this hot, humid city, less is more.  Public nudity is generally frowned upon, but it’s not uncommon to see outfits that leave little to the imagination (for better or for worse).
   After a hundred years of oppression, the law in Sasserine has finally relinquished its stranglehold on the citizens.  Murder, arson, treason, assault, theft, and other violent or destructive crimes remain illegal and are severely punished by the Sasserine Watch, but lesser crimes (drug trade, prostitution, gambling, vagrancy, and similar offenses) remain unrestricted.  Many come to Sasserine precisely because of the fact that their vices may be pursued here without fear of legal repercussions.
   Each of the seven districts of Sasserine is represented not only by an appointed noble, but by an allied church.  Traditionally, the seven churches of Sasserine have been on good terms, but unfortunately the last 100 years have placed an undue strain upon them.  In particular, the faithful of Wee Jas and Kord have suffered.  The terrible rift of suspicion and hatred that formed between these churches during Orren Teraknian’s rule exists to this day.  The remaining four primary religions include Olidammara (in the guise of a fictitious patron saint of merchants named Worgul), Pelor, Fharlanghn, and St. Cuthbert.
Narrator
 GM, 752 posts
 Sometimes, I even
 amaze myself!
Wed 30 May 2012
at 02:25
Re: Sasserine & Surrounding Environs
FACTIONS & OTHER IMPORTANT PLACES
Castle Teraknian

Castle Teraknian is not in any of the seven districts, and yet it belongs to all of them.  Below the castle are the King’s Crypts—burial chambers for the Teraknian Line.  This area has been closed off as well; the only portion of the castle basement still in use is the Noble’s Vault, a place for Sasserine’s nobility to store valuables away from their personal estates.

Azure District—
Whaler’s Guild

The Whaler’s Guild is overseen by Captain Shadwik (human male), a gruff, grizzled man grown too old to ply the seas but still crafty enough to helm one of Sasserines’s most prosperous guilds.

Azure Cathedral
Those who worship at the Azure Cathedral offer their prayers to one of the three deities as the need requires.  Those seeking safety on long sea voyages pray to Osprem, the goddess of ships and sailors.  People who fear the wrath of the sea offer prayers to Procan, the god of the sea.  And those who seek riches from the sea pray to Xerbo, the god of sailing for profit.  The Azure Cathedral is tended by a flock of twelve acolytes and led by a soft-spoken man named Belrain Daskeral (human male Cleric).

Islaran Manor
The Islarans have handed down the post of Harbormaster from one patriarch to the next for generations.  The current lord is Keltar Islaran (human male expert/aristocrat), a tired old man who expected to hand over the title of harbormaster to his eldest son Aaron in a few years.  Unfortunately, both Aaron and Keltar’s favorite daughter Alyssa vanished a few years ago, leaving him with only three daughters more interested in marrying into other families and a son who’s deathly afraid of the water.

Dredger’s Guild
The Dredger’s Guild is run with an almost horrifying glee by an obese dwarf named Maklash Gristwhistle (male dwarf expert).  Maklash and his boys patrol the canals and waterways of Sasserine, clearing obstructions and gathering refuse and waste into large tanks in their barges for proper disposal in the treat furnaces that belch putrid black smoke into the sky at all hours of the day.

Kellani Manor
The Kellanis have quickly established a name for themselves as a greedy family willing to do nearly anything to get ahead in the nobility.  Most believe that matroness Heldrath Kellani (human female rogue/aristocrat) bought her way into nobility with the vast wealth acquired during her days and an adventurer (some might say pirate)—and they’re right.  Rumors hold that Heldrath is ailing and will soon be naming her daughter Rowyn Kellani (human female bard) as the family matron.

East Market
East market’s vendors hawk seafood, whale oil, ambergris, scrimshaw art, and exotic animals.

Champion’s District—
Lorchester Manor

The Lorchesters came to Sasserine many centuries ago, when a schism split their family over the rights to rule in the northern city of Redshore.  Today, the family is ruled by Neldrak Lorchester (human male aristocrat), whose is known to be canny and somewhat of a schemer.

Zelkarune’s Hall
The headquarters of a mercenary company called Zelkarune’s Horns, this large building serves as both a meeting hall, public museum, and adjunct to the nearby arena.  Led by the charismatic and likeable “reformed barbarian” Zesker Grankus (human male barbarian/fighter), Zelkarune’s Horns has become one of the most successful organizations in Sasserine.

Sasserine Arena
The most popular attractions held here are the gladiatorial fights sponsored and operated by Zelkarune’s Horns.  These fights are generally not to the death when only people are involved, but are often used to settle debts.  More often, member of Zelkarune’s Horns hold public competitions among themselves to determine who among them is the greatest.

House of Kord
The oldest structure in Champion’s District is the temple of Kord.  Made of black basalt, this cathedral’s spires reach nearly 150 feet into the sky in places.  The cathedral is presided over by a no-nonsense priest named Tormagal Gred (human male cleric/fighter).

Kord’s Market
Kord’s Market is open during the morning and early afternoon, at which time weapons, armor, and metalwork of all kinds can be found for sale.

Scarlet Embassy
The Scarlet Embassy was built only a few years ago over the site of a noble villa whose members were slaughtered during the final years of the Sea Prince rule.  This building now serves as the living quarters for Anteki Alresian (human male) and his staff.  Cynics hold that Anteki’s merely lulling Sasserine into a false sense of security for a Brotherhood assault from the sea.

Toregson Manor
The Toregsons are Sasserine’s newest noble family, ascended to this honor when another family, the Pikes, were forced a year ago to sell their family home after falling on hard times associated with the abduction of one of their daughters.  Lord Urik Toregson (human male aristocrat/expert) also owns the Smith’s Guildhall in the Merchant District.

Cudgel District—
Low Market

Low Market is the lesser of Cudgel District’s market—little goes on here save for the sale of food, firewood, and miscellaneous tools.

Temple of St. Cuthbert
One of the best-attended churches in the city, this temple recently received a staggering influx of support from Sasserine’s sister city of Cauldron.  After the recent death of its high-priest, the Sasserine Temple came under the care of Father Ruphus Laro (human male cleric), a kindly priest who grew up in Cauldron.

Stonemason’s Guild
The Sasserine Stonemasons are charged with the upkeep of the city’s walls.  Beyond this charge, they hire themselves out to the rich, building stone mansions or castles as required in the surrounding region (or in Sasserine itself).  The Stonemason’s Guild is led by a gregarious dwarf named Tenkar Gritbeard (male dwarf expert).

West Market
West Market is the Cudgel District’s busiest market.  Bustling at all daylight hours, the market’s primary specialty is wood and lumber, but anything from groceries to livestock to medicine can also be found for sale here.

Taskerhill Manor
Cudgel District’s oldest noble family are the Taskerhills, a name that today has become synonymous with fantastic wealth and lumber—the family has owned and operated Thunder River Lumber for centuries.  Led by a proud and eloquent man named Kalmadar Taskerhill (human male aristocrat), the Taskerhills have only the best interest of Cudgel District at heart.  Unfortunately, this interest has led to an unfortunate bit of elitism.

Merchant’s District—
Harbor Market

Harbor Market remains busy at all hours of the day and night, although at its peak during lunch hours.

Temple of Fharlanghn
The temple of Fharlanghn is little more than a shire tended by a small staff of a half-dozen clerics.  This isn’t to say that the citizens of the Merchant District are godless, just that of all Sasserine’s districts, these folks represent the widest range of faiths.  Lirali Woarali (female half-elf cleric) honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.

Merchant’s Guild
Guildmaster Dhalven Miomar (human male expert) tries to remain a neutral party among the movers and shakers of Sasserine, so he can more effectively and honestly tend to the needs of the city’s merchants (many of whom bicker and squabble, being directly tied to competing concerns).

Smith’s Guild
This fortified stone building functions not only as a guildhall for Sasserine’s smiths, but as a productive and well-staffed forge as well.  The guildhall is efficiently run by Velkandar Toregson (human male expert), the eldest son of the Toregson family.

Arabani Manor
Anwyn Arabani (female half-elf aristocrat/bard) claims to be of drow descent, although it seems unlikely given her relatively pale skin.  What isn’t in question is her obsession with the dark elves; she’s decorated her entire manor with drow-themed works of art.  Anwyn has yet to select a husband, despite the near-constant flow of suitors that visit her home; rumor holds that she may be involved with someone already, but the scandalous nature of their love has, to this point, prevented a public announcement.

Alchemist’s Guild
This large building is staffed by a small army of researches and apprentices beholden to a fussy gnome named Blisker Tittertop (male gnome wizard).  Blisker has little interest in either Wee Jas or the Witchwardens, which has earned him the scorn of most of Sasserine’s arcanists.

Vanderboren Manor
Traditionally, the Vanderborens have been taken with a high-risk ventures, and as a result many of their resources are taken up by sudden unexpected expenditures, leaving little to further their position in the city itself.  Recently, young Lavinia Vanderboren (human female aristocrat) became the estate’s sole heir after her parents perished in a terrible ship fire and her brother Vanthus went missing.

Telvanta Academy
A prestigious dance school, run by Headmistress Alma Telvanta (human female).

Noble District—
Witchwarden Tower

Established nearly 600 years ago by the church of Wee Jas, the Witchwardens have since become a secular mage’s guild.  The current mistress of the guild is High Warden Lux Seoni (human female wizard).

High Market
The High Market is where the truly exotic or expensive merchants come to hawk their wares to the city’s elite.

Fetchin Estate
Wild rumors of witchcraft and treachery circulate the social circles the city's Noble District concerning the shadowy particulars as to how the Fetchins acquired their estate. Mistress of the estate, Clementine Fetchin (unknown race & class) only exploded onto the Sasserine social scene six months ago, leaving many of the other female nobles in a state of vexation.

Sasserine Opera House
Often featuring dancers trained in the Telvanta Academy and entertainers from as far away as Keeper’s Hold, events at the Sasserine Opera House rarely pass by without making a huge scene.  The Opera House is run by Nylaria Absalee (human female aristocrat), a large woman whose girth is matched by her flair for extravagant hair styles and dresses.

House of the Dragon
This large square building serves a dual purpose; it’s both a library and school.  The school itself is dedicated to the education of anyone who can afford its prohibitive tuition, and its curriculum is certainly outstanding, as those who have graduated have become exceptional members of their chosen fields.  Underground chambers house dormitories and the extensive library.  Built over the entrance to Zelkarune’s lair, the notorious black dragon’s visage adorns the school’s façade, as well as its banners and interior décor.

Lidu Manor
Sasserine’s oldest family, the Lidus were also the family to suffer the most under the Sea Prince rule.  This period has taught the Lidu family humility, and it was primarily at their urging that Sasserine’s new government was composed of the people rather than of one ruling family.  The current patriarch is Worrin Lidu (human male aristocrat/wizard), a kind-hearted noble who hopes to heal the rift between the churches of Kord and Wee Jas.

Cartographer’s Guild
The Cartographer’s Guildhall is funded, in part, by the Azure Cathedral and a mysterious group known as the Seekers, yet they leave the administration of the guild largely in the hands of its more-than-competent mistress, Kiva Willowtop (female halfling expert).

Temple of Wee Jas
The great domed hall of this temple houses a sixty-foot-tall statue of Wee Jas.  Dozens of acolytes tend the temple and aid the aging Mother Annah Teranaki (human female cleric) in all matters.  The temple has recently come under scrutiny, after one of Annah’s own protégés, Embril Aloustinai, used the Cauldron Cathedral of Wee Jas as a cover for her own nefarious purposes.

Ancestor Island
The dead of Sasserine who are not cremated are interred in above-ground domed vaults here on Ancestor Island, since the surrounding ground is generally too swampy to support proper graveyards.  At the center of the island rises the Scarlet Spire, the gravestone that marks the only exception to this rule.  Here is where Sasserine herself lies, the fifty-foot-tall crystalline spire above her tomb is one of the city’s most beloved landmarks.

Shadowshore—
Shrine of Worgul

St. Worgul was said to be the ugliest dwarf to ever live in Sasserine.  That she was still able to build a small empire of taverns and merchant companies and become one of the city’s richest entrepreneurs speaks volumes for her ability to rise above her hideous countenance.  The stories hold that before she died, she willed her estate and holdings to the district of Shadowshore, that they might have a safe public place to gather, and that the keeper of her estate would represent the district’s interests to the other six of the city.
   The current priest of the Shine of St. Worgul is a stooped and rather ugly-looking man named Jalpe Jinn (half-orc male cleric).

Dracktus Manor
A classic example of leadership borne out of the combination of money and murder, this estate is currently run by an overbearing man named Emil Dracktus (human male aristocrat), after he “liberated” rule of the estate from its previous owners a few nights after the Sea Princes were driven from town.

Amedio Trading Concern
While Sasserine features many importers and exporters, none have become as successful as the Amdeio Trading Concern.  Detractors claim this is because the owners willfully take part in smuggling and the black market, but none have the resources (or bravery) to confront the towering presence that is the Trading Concern’s lord and master.  Vico Bevenin (human male ranger/expert) claims to have ogre blood in his veins, something his 6-foot-7-inch frame supports with ease.  He owns on less than seven large trading vessels, each staffed by a crew of ex-pirates and thugs that are more than capable of holding their own, and owes much of his success to the immense rum distillery that takes up half of his building.

Shipwright’s Guild
Not everyone in Sasserine can afford to hire their own carpenters to build ships.  For everyone else, the Shipwright’s Guildhall is often the only choice.  Despite its location, this guild is known to produce functional ships at affordable prices.  Guildmaster Gregar Skreen (human male expert) has managed to keep the business his own in the same way his fathers before him managed; by paying lot of protection money to local thugs and by giving deep discounts to any citizen of Shadowshore who seeks to purchase a boat.

Sunrise District—
Thunder River Lumber

Owned by the Taskerhill family, this lumberyard processes all of the exotic wood that comes through Sasserine.  Trees logged from the Amedio Jungle are sent down the Thunder River, tended by foolhardy but brave “logriders” armed with long hooked poles until they arrive at the shallow bay surrounding this location.  These logs are pulled from the waters, dried, cut, and then exported on barges to the north, where lumber is loaded onto visiting trade vessels.

Historian’s Guild
This unassuming-looking building came into being many centuries ago, when a group of like-minded scholars realized that someone needed to document the city’s history.  Someone not tried to one of the noble families, someone capable of preserving record of all the city’s events in a safe place.  The current Guildmaster is a man named Errix Vorn (human male).

Landowner’s Hall
When the dozens of plantation owners need to gather, they do so at this large building.  The manor features numerous guest rooms and a large meeting hall; when no guests or meetings are present, the hall is watched over by a staff of maids and servants led by a quiet man named Basar Finn (human male expert).

Dawn Market
Dawn Market operates during daylight hours only, and is the primary source for food, firewood, and other necessities to the citizens of Sunrise.

Knowlern Manor
Three hundred years ago, Aniphastus Knowlern (male elf aristocrat/wizard) and his family ran aground only a few miles west of Sasserine after their ship was attacked by pirates.  Aniphastus took the event as an omen, and upon reaching the city of Sasserine they settled on its outskirts.  In time, the city overtook their estate, but the Knowlerns made sure that at least a small portion of the land’s original beauty remained untouched in the nearby Standing Stone Park.

Dawnhouse
The Dawnhous is a modest chapel dedicated to Pelor.  A dozen priests tend the church, led by a dynamic and outgoing woman named Kera Gosalar (human female paladin/cleric).  Kera finds much of the “anarchy” of the city to be distasteful, but rather than leading a crusade against the city’s vices, she has chosen to provide an alternative option for the citizens.  Her priests are often seen wandering the streets of the city, offering shelter and aid to those who look like they need a helping hand and turning the other cheek when confronted with sin.

Standing Stone Park
A bastion of nature within the city walls, this region features well-maintained paths for anyone who wishes a safe place to meditate and relax in the jungle’s bosom.  The park is maintained by the Knowlern family.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:16, Fri 01 Apr 2016.

Dungeon Master
Mon 30 Sep 2013
at 15:13
Currency (Slang)
For quick reference, from post #111:

*In addition to the usual copper, silver, gold, and platinum currency system, common names for coinage in Sasserine (and the surrounding communities) is as follows:
Copper = Pence
Silver = Talent
Gold = Crown
Platinum = Sovereign

This message was last edited by the GM at 14:35, Thu 21 Apr 2016.

Narrator
 GM, 1262 posts
Thu 21 Apr 2016
at 17:06
The Church of Wee Jas
Wee Jas in Auðrine
The Church of Wee Jas is slightly different in Auðrine than it is in Bélefonté (Stan's home plane). Maybe it is just a regional thing, but Wee Jas isn't as prominent where he is from. Most mages in the small patch of Bélefonté he's familiar with worship Baccob predominantly, and only view Wee Jas as a lesser, more marginal figure within his court; something more of a patron saint of varying particulars, depending upon who you ask.
Since Stan's arrival in Auðrine, he can't help but notice the prominence of the church in Sasserine. Through his time in the city, he has been able to piece together the following information on Wee Jas:

Sasserine
Sasserine began not as a city, but as a young woman. Over 700 years ago a cleric of Wee Jas awoke after a vivid dream of a hidden cove, protected from the sea by vast cliffs and from the land by steaming swamps and jungle. In this vision she beheld a thriving city and a gleaming spire of scarlet stone, she knew Wee Jas had visited her with a prophecy. Sasserine gathered her followers, including her lover Teraknian, a soldier and worshiper of Kord, and set out to find the cove.
Disease, accidents, and monsters took their toll on the pilgrims, and by the end only a quarter of the original group remained. But as they arrived at the fertile stretch of land, surrounded by exotic plants, Sasserine recognized the landscape at once from her vision.
However, Wee Jas had not told her about the dragon that had claimed the cove as its territory. Mere hours after their arrival in the cove, ye dragon Zelkarune struck. Enraged at this final trial, Sasserine stood her ground against the dragon, but at a terrible cost. As she summoned the fire bolt to deal the deathblow to Zelkarune, she stepped in front of its claws meant for Teraknian, she and the beast slew each other.
The survivors turned to Teraknian for leadership, whom vowed to found the city in her name.
For nearly 500 years the city grew, weathering tremendous storms and vicious attacks from the bullywugs, ogres, and giants. In 480 CY Orren Teraknian (direct descendant of the city's founder) became the Lord Mayor and began a reign of terror, purging the city of Wee Jas' faithful. Using fabricated charges of devil worship, his campaign led to the arrest, imprisonment, and even execution of church leaders.

The Olmans
Any student of history can tell you about the ancient Olman civilization. A deeply spiritual, seafaring people, the Olmans dominated the Amedio region, particularly the islands of the Vohoun Ocean. Their culture blended arcane magic with divine practice, and their chief goddess was none other than Wee Jas herself.
She nurtured the Olmans from the time the first tribe set forth from their island home to that last tragic night their dependency of magic sunk their mighty empire.

The Goddess of Magic, Love, and Death
Wee Jas is a timeless power, eternally young, and respected by those with any interest in the Arcane. She represents magic (whether it be spellcasting, crafting magical items, or effects in general), the finality of death, love, and the natural laws that govern these things (or in love's case the lack of laws). As the goddess of magic for a long-lived magical empire, Wee Jas has been a constant fixture in Auðrine, and people of all cultures recognize her might and symbols, even though her own worshipers don't always understand her.
Wee Jas is a powerful goddess and is used to getting what she wants. She insists on things being done her way, as she knows best. This self-assurance, coupled with her often-misunderstood aspect of love goddess, has led many to call her the goddess of vanity. Her long-running affair with the chaotic deity Norebo shows that love breaks boundaries and operates without rules, and that she will get what she wants even if she has to compromise her own principles.
Although her portfolios seem like they would put her at odds with other powerful entities, her wisdom and strict adherence to her domain of influence has kept them on peaceful terms, or at least safe at arms length. Baccob is focused on preserving magic throughout the multiverse, leaving Wee Jas free to manage its practical, creative, and aesthetic aspects. Nerull has limited influence over souls as the god of killing and murder, while she is the steward of the afterlife. With this division, their portfolios compliment each other rather than compete.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:25, Thu 21 Apr 2016.